Friday, March 27, 2009

A Congresswoman's Covert Battle With Cancer


An amazing story from the AP about Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chief deputy whip in the House and a vice chair of the Democratic National Committee. Wasserman Schultz is a visible and powerful presence for House Democrats and rising star of the party. Few people, including the leadership of the House, have known of her struggle with breast cancer.

From the AP: "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz hated relying too much on her staff, but she needed them to keep up appearances during her undercover battle against cancer. After several major surgeries, including a double mastectomy, she couldn't even carry her own papers in the Capitol. Staff even helped her look cheerful when she hosted a fundraiser for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 'I was hooked up to drains and I had a pain pack coming out of my chest, which I hid with clothing and ingenious staff work on a purse,' the Florida Democrat said, adding with a laugh, 'I hugged people gingerly.' She handled her cancer the way she handles her job: taking on tasks gracefully, winning respect from colleagues from both parties. But she said protecting her children - 9-year-old boy and girl twins, and another 5-year-old girl - came first. She would keep it a secret from her three children, too."


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